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Inquiry ordered into army officer's suicide

June 17, 2006 14:54 IST

As jawans of the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers lifted a coffin onto the back of a military truck in the sultry evening, a family mourned the demise of a dream of seeing their beloved 25-year-old daughter earn glory as an officer of the Indian Army.

At about 2030 hrs on Friday, the remains of Lt Sushmita Chakraborty - who was attached to the Army Supply Corps 5071 Battalion - were conveyed by an Indian Airlines flight from Delhi to Bhopal, accompanied by her shocked mother Sadhana.

Lt Sushmita, commissioned in October 2005 and a gold medalist from the Officers Training Academy, Chennai, was stationed at Headquarters Northern Command Udhampur - her first posting - where she allegedly shot herself with a sentry's rifle on Thursday night.

''I favour an inquiry by an independent agency into the episode. She desired to go ahead in life. Why would such a lady kill herself,'' Lt Sushmita's uncle S K Chakraborty said.

The Army has ordered a high-level inquiry into the cause and circumstances which led to Lt Sushmita' suicide.

Denying any harassment at the workplace, Command Brigadier (Nagrota) K K Chopra told the mediapersons Friday evening that it was a case of depression.

Brigadier Chopra said it was also revealed that the lady officer was depressed due to low self-esteem. She was provided counselling by a qualified psychiatrist for 15 days and subsequently granted 30 days of annual leave. While on leave, she requested for further extension of leave by 30 days, which was granted. She had resumed the unit on June 1 and was accompanied by her mother.